If you’re looking for some ideas for teaching adverbs of frequency, then you’re certainly in the right place. Keep reading for the top 16 games and activities, along with worksheets, lesson plans and more to work on, “How often” questions and answers.
Adverbs of Frequency Activities and Games: Top 16
Let’s get to the best frequency games!
#1: Flashcard Sentences and Frequency Expressions
If you’re teaching frequency adverbs to beginners, you may want to consider bringing in some flashcards of people doing things to your class. Then, you can randomly show a card to a student, or the students can choose two or three cards from the pile.
Then, students can make sentences related to their card. For example:
- I never play soccer.
- My family sometimes eats pizza for dinner.
- I watch a movie once a week.
Flashcards are a simple, fun way to get your students practicing using this grammar and vocabulary. Learn more here: ESL Flashcard Activities.
#2: Frequency Board Games
In real life, I’m ALL about playing board games! And I also love to bring them into my classroom too. You can often find them in the teacher’s resource book that may accompany your textbook, but if you can’t, you can make your own in just a few minutes. It’s super easy to do!
In this case, you’ll want to use frequency questions related to whatever topic you’re teaching. Then, students have to answer them using a frequency expression. Or, you can mix in a few answers and students have to come up with the question.
Do you want to try your hand at making your own ESL board games? Find out how to do that right here: Board Games for ESL.
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 144 Pages - 10/24/2019 (Publication Date)
#3: Hot Potato Frequency Game
If you want to have some serious fun in your English class, then you’ll certainly want to try out Hot Potato. The way it works is that students pass around a potato (or any object) and then when the timer goes off or the music stops, the person holding it has to do something.
In this case, they may have to answer a frequency question from the teacher. Or, you could require the person holding it to think of a question to ask another student in the class.
Do you want to try it out? Check out all the details right here: Hot Potato ESL Game.
#4: Dialogue Substitution
Frequency words are often introduced in ESL textbooks by using a dialogue. But, have you ever noticed that most students just kind of mindlessly read it and don’t really pay attention to what they’re reading? It’s not their fault though! It’s just that they haven’t been given a reason to read it.
One technique we like to use to turn this from a mindless reading activity into one that deals with meaning is to remove some of the key words. In this case, you’ll probably want to remove some of the frequency expressions, or the activities that they’re referring to. Then, students have to work in pairs to fill in the blanks while reading the dialogue at the same time.
Sounds awesome, right? It’s just so much better than what most of us do! Find out how to this activity right here: ESL Dialogue Activity.
#5: Frequency ESL Videos
I’m ALL about using videos in my English classes. Students love them and the good news is that it’s super easy to find one on just about any topic, grammar point or vocabulary set. However, there’s certainly more to it than hitting play and then sitting back and relaxing.
Instead, you’ll want to do some pre and post-watching activities so that students can the most educational value out of them. Here are some of the best ideas: Using Videos for Language Learning.
Here’s one example of a conversation that you could consider showing to your students:
#6: Frequency Conversation Starters
If you tell your students to use frequency words in a conversation with each other, you’ll most certainly be met with blank silence. And of course, it’s not the students’ fault but the teachers for not giving any sort of structure or help with this.
If you want your students to use frequency verbs, then you’ll want to give them a few conversation starters using how frequently and how often. As far as what questions, think about the topic of your lesson and go from there. Or, you can often find some great questions in many textbooks.
More details here: Conversation Starters for ESL.
#7: Just One Question
This is an excellent 4-skills activity that lends itself very well to the unit on frequency. The way it work is that students, in pairs think of a few “how often” questions related to the topic of the day. The teacher can help to ensure that there are no questions that are too similar.
Then, they choose one from among them and have to survey at least 10 of their classmates, taking some notes on the answers. Finally, they analyze the results and report back to the class in a short presentation.
You can learn more about it here: ESL Survey Activity.
#8: ESL Health Activities and Frequency Expressions
Adverbs of frequency are most commonly taught combined with the topic of health. If you think about it, there are a ton of interesting questions and things to talk about. For example: How often do you . . .
- drink alcohol
- eat fast food
- get enough sleep
Do you want to see some of the best health-related games and activities? Then you’ll want to check this out: ESL Health Games & Activities.
#9: Just a Minute Speaking Activity
Just a minute is a challenging, but engaging speaking activity. The way it works is that students have to talk for an entire minute about a certain topic without stopping. Then, the other three groups members have to listen and ask 1-2 follow questions.
In this case, you may want to consider making the topic healthy and unhealthy habits. Before getting started, point out some of the frequency adverbs (once, twice, three times, sometimes, never, etc.) and suggest that students could use a few of them while speaking.
More information about this activity right here: ESL Just a Minute Activity.
#10: How to Teach Grammar
Do you struggle with how to teach grammar, including something like frequency adverbs? You are most certainly not alone and many English teachers are a bit shaky of the ins and outs of planning this style of lesson.
But, not to worry! Check out this lesson planning template for grammar lessons, along with a ton of tips and tricks right here:
#11: Running Dictation
Try out this classic, 4-skills ESL game with your students today! Seriously. It’s such a great activity that if you haven’t tried it yet, you’re missing out!
To start, you’ll need to find a dialogue that has frequency adverb questions and answers. The textbook you might be using is often a good source, or you can easily write your own conversation.
Then, cut it out into strips of paper that you can tape around the classroom on the walls. Students have to work in pairs or record the whole conversation on their paper and then put it into the correct order.
That’s just the basic explanation. You can find all the information about it right here: Running Dictation for ESL.
If you want a challenging listening and writing activity, then you’ll want to try out dictogloss. The way it works is that you can find (or write your own) passage that has a lot of frequency expressions in it. One thing that’ll work well is someone talking about how healthy they are.
Then, put students into pairs and you can read out the passage quite quickly (depending on the level). Students have to work together to recreate what they heard by writing. Read it out again and students can add to what they had from the first round. Finally, students can compare what they have with the original.
Find out more about how to use this in your classes here: ESL Dictogloss Activity.
#13: Frequency Adverbs Songs and Chants
I love to use songs and chants in my classes. Songs especially are a fun way to bring real life into the classroom. Check out this playlist on YouTube for some popular songs that use frequency expressions in them:
#14: The Memory Circle
This is a quick review or warmer activity that’s best for smaller classes of less than 10 students. The way it work is that the first student says a sentence using a frequency adverb. For example, “I play soccer twice a week.”
The second student repeats the first sentence and adds their own. “Tim plays soccer twice a week and I go to the library one a month.”
So on it goes until someone can’t remember something and they’re out. Finally, only one person will be left standing! Find out more about how to use this circle game in your classes: ESL Circle Game.
I’m ALL about surveys. Just ask my students and they’ll tell you that we do them at least once a month! They’re engaging, gets students up and out of their seats talking to their classmates and cover a wide range of skills. That’s some serious ESL teaching awesome, right?
The better news is that surveys work especially well with how often questions. If you want to find out how to make your own ESL surveys quickly and easily, check out these examples: ESL Surveys.
#16: Ball Toss ESL Speaking Activity
Ball toss is a fun activity that can bring a little bit of excitement to your classes. The way it works is that you write a bunch of how often questions on a beach ball. Then, students can toss it around the class and answer the question that’s under their right thumb.
Do you to see how it works? More details here: https://www.eslactivity.org/ball-toss-4-skills-esl-activity/.
Most Commonly Used Adverbs of Frequency
Frequency adverbs are adverbs of time that answer the following questions:
- How frequently?
- How often?
Some examples of commonly used frequency adverbs are the following:
- daily, weekly, yearly
- alway, often, usually, sometimes, rarely, never
- once, twice, three times, etc.
Adverbs of Frequency Worksheets
There are a ton of excellent resources online for frequency worksheets. Consider using some of them to save yourself a lot of time when doing your lesson planning. Here are some of our top picks for ESL frequency worksheets:
Adverbs of Frequency ESL Lesson Plans
Are you looking for some ESL adverbs of frequency lesson plans that you can just print off and go? They’ll save you a ton of time and make your life easier. Here are some of our top recommendations:
Online Practice for Frequency Expressions
If your students want some additional practice opportunities for expressions of frequency, then we generally recommend the following online games and activities:
Did you Like these Adverb of Frequency ESL Activities?
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 146 Pages - 03/09/2016 (Publication Date)
Yes? Thought so! Then you’re going to want to check out this book over on Amazon: 101 ESL Activities for Teenagers and Adults. The key to better English classes is a wide variety of engaging and student-centred activities and games and this book will help you with exactly that.
The best part is that the book is very well-organized into various sections. This means that you should be able to find what you’re looking for in just a minute or two which will make your life easier when planning your ESL lessons.
You can get 101 ESL Activities in both digital and print formats. Consider keeping the book on the bookshelf in your office or teacher’s room to use as a handy reference guide. Or, you might want to take the e-version with you to your favourite coffee shop for some serious lesson planning on the go.
Either way, it’s some serious ESL teaching awesome that you’re going to want to have in your life. Learn more about it on Amazon:
Have your Say about these Frequency Games for ESL
What did you think about these adverbs of frequency activities? Did you try out one of them from this list or do you another that you’d like to recommend? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear from you.
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Last update on 2020-01-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API